Why is it so hard after long workouts?

In the heading “Have a question”, the editorial office answers frequently asked questions about running. This time, the reader is wondering – why, after long training sessions, a lot of fatigue sets in: legs hurt, dizziness, you want to sleep and eat all day?

Traditionally, in preparation for long-distance races (from 10 km to the marathon), runners use long-distance crosses — the distance in such training sessions is usually 1.5–3 times greater than traditional ones. Accordingly, energy costs, the number of steps and shock loads on the joints are also significantly higher.

Your symptoms indicate that the body is not adapted to such stresses, so fatigue is a natural reaction to stress.

In general, slight fatigue or muscle weakness after jogging is normal, but the feeling of complete exhaustion is not. Weakness, lethargy, pain in the body after a long cross can be caused by one of three aspects: 1) training plan, 2) recovery / rest, 3) nutrition. First of all, before starting preparation for long-distance competitions, you need to undergo a medical examination: visit an orthopedist, cardiologist, and take a blood test. This is necessary first of all for yourself, so that in the process of training chronic diseases do not cross out ambitious plans.

Training plan

To begin with, it is worthwhile to carefully analyze your training plan, paying particular attention to such indicators as the base pace, increase in mileage, recovery training and rest days. Too high a pace during long workouts can cause overwork.

Not every jogging should be fast, especially when it comes to increasing mileage or preparing for competitions at a new distance for you. In such cases, save speed for shorter runs. You need to start long runs from short distances (for example, from 5 km), and increase them by no more than 10% per week, running at a low heart rate. The main sign of such a pulse is that you can calmly and without panting speak with sentences. That is why preparation for a half marathon, and even more so for a marathon, should take much longer than beginners usually want.

Recovery and Rest

Proper recovery probably plays a very big role in the preparation process. A week should have at least one or two days of absolute rest from training and a couple of days in which you will run at an easy pace. After hard work (speed, pace, lengthy, or slides), you must definitely have a rest day or a rest run at an easy pace. When the body is subjected to a new load for itself (a longer distance or a higher pace), it causes physical stress, which, in turn, triggers a certain reaction of the body to new conditions for it.

However, in order to adapt to these new conditions, the body needs a certain amount of time. That is why it is necessary to lay in the training plan time for recovery – it is then that these adaptations occur. If the body is under constant stress and does not get enough rest or recovery, it can lead to injuries or illness, not to mention low productivity.


Excessive fatigue can be caused by an unbalanced diet. The diet of the runner should be 50-70% carbohydrate, 20-30% fat, and 10-20% protein. Carbohydrates are needed for energy production, and their optimal source is whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Sources of healthy fats are oils and nuts, and protein is best obtained from lean meats and eggs.

Adequate water intake is also crucial for health and well-being. On average, it is recommended to drink about 2 liters per day (or even more, depending on weather conditions, duration of runs and sweating intensity). Also analyze your diet before and after a run. For an hour or two before training, you should make a light snack for 150-200 calories, which will provide sufficient energy and prevent a sharp jump in blood sugar after a run.

Nutrition after exercise is also important: at this moment the body goes into recovery mode, while the blood sugar level continues to fall, which can cause a feeling of fatigue if you do not eat. Therefore, drink water or isotonic immediately after a run and build yourself a full meal of the right carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Hitch and Stretch

When running, blood flow increases in loaded muscles, so it is very important to ensure a smooth change in blood circulation at the end of the run. To do this, each run must be completed with a hitch – a kilometer and a half light jogs or a couple of laps on foot around the stadium. The hitch helps the body return to its “normal” state, gradually slowing down the respiratory rate and pulse, as well as normalizing the blood microcirculation.

After a hitch, it’s time for stretching exercises after running. Here, special attention is paid to large muscles, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, calf and gluteus muscles, chest and back. Well, and then, as we have said, – a good meal!